The sport of rugby sevens is quickly taking over the world, and it only promises to get more popular over the next 12 months. Millions around the world are now tuning in for the HSBC World Sevens Series, which sees the best teams from around the globe travel around the world to compete in weekend-long competitions.
It is the very best opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the highest-quality athletes in the world of sport. Fans of the sport can expect to see teams such as New Zealand, the USA, England, Australia and Fiji in action. But, if you aren't persuaded now, what else could you expect to see?
The sport's popularity has increased faster than a horse running among the Kentucky Derby contenders, ever since it was introduced as an Olympic sport. The men's final was watched by the whole of Fiji, as the country claimed their first-ever Olympic medal of any description. That final captivated the world and was one of the most-watched events of the whole Olympics. Meanwhile, the women's final saw Australia become invested in the sport, with many of the team quickly becoming household names.
The power of the Olympics has catapulted the sport onto the global stage, and the HSBC World Sevens Series is a way to stay up to date with the latest results. The events are televised around the world, and some of the events in the USA and Canada have broken rugby records that have stood for decades.
Rugby sevens is one of the leaders in helping women excel in sport. It has encouraged more and more women to take up the sport, and that has been highlighted by the fact that the World Series now includes eight stages, which is the most that it has ever included. There are also routes for rugby sevens to become a full-time profession for women now, which would have been unthinkable a decade ago.
It still has some way to go, but they are given the platform that helps show that they are as talented as the men. As we enter the eighth season of the women's Series, there only promises to be a higher investment in that side of the sport, and that can only be a positive for not only rugby sevens but also sport in general.
Sevens, of course, has its similarities to union, league, and even American football, but it is its only entity altogether in essence. It is a much shorter game, and obviously includes less players on the pitch. The principles from rugby remain, but the action is completely different. Fans that haven't enjoyed league or union should turn to sevens, and they will immediately be engaged by the action taking place in front of them.
The players are athletes in every sense of the world. They need to be strong and quick, and there are examples of superhuman strength in every game that you watch. The rules are also simple to follow, which means you could put a game on and immediately become invested in what is taking place in front of you.
The sport and competition continues to grow organically, and the recent news that relegation and promotion will become a factor in the World Series will only be a positive. There will be new opportunities for teams to become involved in the Series, and there will be more hinging on every game, even towards the end of the Series. The changes will come into effect in the first Series to follow the Olympic games.